chapter  8
30 Pages

After the degree: opportunities for a psychology graduate

Having completed an undergraduate degree in psychology, the next step is to decide what to do afterwards. Some psychology students go on to do further training in psychology or a related area, some go on to carry out psychological research, whereas others will do other things (e.g., teach on a psychology course; apply psychology to “real-world” problems). However, many students use their graduate status to obtain jobs in fi elds far removed from the formal topics covered on their psychology courses. For example, one student might apply for a job in personnel work, another might apply for a managerial role, whilst another still might enter onto a conversion course and completely change their focus (conversion courses to other fi elds, such as law, are not uncommon). In addition, a number of graduates decide to work or engage in further study abroad. According to a 2013 survey by the Association of Graduate Recruiters the average starting salary for a graduate was £26,000 in 2011-2012, rising to £26,500 in 2012-2013. With regards degree classifi - cations, most employers surveyed (82.1 per cent) used degree class as a screening tool, with over 80 per cent of them looking at an upper-secondclass grade (2.1) as a cut-off for the majority of their positions. (For full details of this survey email [email protected])

The Higher Education Statistics Agency produces destination statistics of leavers (graduates) from higher education each year. These statistics change each year, are usually based on first destination statistics at 6 months after graduation, and are included here merely to give you some idea of what psychology graduates do after graduation. The statistics for psychology graduates for 2012 revealed the following:

• 60.3% of psychology graduates obtained employment in the UK

• 15.5% went on to further academic study, training or research

• 9.6% were studying and working • 1.3% obtained overseas employment • 7.8% believed to be unemployed, including those due to

start work • 5.5% were listed under “other”

Source : Higher Education Statistics Agency (2013). What do graduates do?

For some useful guidance on working or studying abroad, as well as contact addresses, see, for example, the booklets titled: Careers: Work and Study Abroad, and Postgraduate Study and Research , produced by the Association of Graduate Careers Advisory Service (AGCAS). The latest versions of these booklets should be available from your Careers Service on campus. You can visit the AGCAS website (